(Updated)Employers compliance on its foreign workers still not satisfactory – Home Minister

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (third left) and Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar at a press conference following their ministries’ joint committee meeting on foreign workers.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18: The level of compliance by employers on the conditions set for their engagement of foreign workers, such as the provision of staff quarters and other matters related to the workers’ wellbeing, is still not at a satisfactory level, said Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Considering that the government has done its part to help employers engage foreign workers in their respective industries following the ease of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said employers must do their part to comply with all the related regulations.

Those who fail to fulfill the conditions will be investigated by the authorities and could even face court action if found to have breached any rules.

He said this during a joint press conference with Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar following the Joint Committee Meeting Between the two ministries here today.

He said as of Oct 9, total of 667,418 foreign workers were in Malaysia on temporary working pass since the government launched the Foreign Workers Employment Relaxation Plan and the Workforce Recalibration Programme 2.0 in January this year. He said the total number of foreign workers in the country stood at 1.7 million todate and that the government had set a ceiling of no more than 2.4 million foreign workers in the country by 2025.

Effective Dec 31st, 2023, there will also be no new quota for foreign workers and the focus will be on monitoring and supervision of foreign workers.

The government had approved foreign workers to fill in the five critical industries- manufacturing, construction, plantations, agriculture and food and beverage. In September this year, the government also relaxed a ban on foreign workers in the three sub sectors of barber shops, textiles and jewellery making.

In terms of numbers, he said two sectors, namely services and manufacturing had exceeded in the number of estimated workers needed from 20 thousand to 142, 204 workers and from 50 thousand to 197, 213. He said this also raised the employers in the industries as with higher risk of not complying with regulations based on checks with feedback and data.

The agriculture sector has recorded 52,123 workers against its estimated need of 57,000 workers, while the construction sector had 220,230 workers against 301,000 workers needed while the agriculture sector had 53,638 workers against 90,000 workers required.

The three sub-sectors of barbers, textile workers and jewellery makers had been given a quota of 7,000. Applications for these sectors would be open till the quota is met.